NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – A year ago Dwight Yoakam sued Warner Music Group (WMG), taking a stand in an effort to reclaim his masters. The country star and WMG have now filed a joint notice of settlement.
The Copyright Act of 1976 enables artists/creators to reassume ownership of their works released at least 35 years ago, and that is exactly what Yoakam was trying to do when the lawsuit was filed. Yoakam signed with WMG in 1985 and stated in his lawsuit that WMG had ignored the copyright-termination notices he had sent prior to the lawsuit filing.
WMG pushed back, claiming Yoakam’s copyright-termination notices had been submitted too early, but in other instances, too late. The Copyright Act deems that any party seeking to terminate copyright must do so during a “specific statutory window of time” withing a five-year termination period.
On February 13, the two-time Grammy winner and WMG submitted the notice of settlement to a California federal court, indicating that “they have reached an agreement in principle to settle this dispute.” Neither party has commented on the lawsuit or settlement, but the notice asked the court for “fourteen day to negotiate and finalize formal settlement documentation and submit a stipulation of dismissal.”
Digital Music News recently revealed that WMG had achieved a double-digit jump in revenue during the final three months of 2021, and the company kicked off the new year by waiving unrecouped debts for legacy artists and songwriters.